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Hi Postgraduates,

As you may have seen from our recent statement, we are committed to working towards a no-detriment policy for all our students, including postgraduate taught students. I just want to clarify how our work in getting a No Detriment Policy affects you. First and foremost, though, I must stress that no one will be forgotten and we’re in discussions with UCL to make sure everyone is included, international students too. You can see what we’re doing for you here.

Postgrads are a special bunch with unique requirements and we’re adding special clauses to make sure all fronts are covered. Below is a summary of what last year’s arrangements looked like, which I myself worked on. This is just to provide an example and demonstrate that it is possible to have a no-detriment policy for single-year postgraduate students. I must stress that this might not be the final outcome. In fact, it is perhaps unlikely that the final no-detriment policy will look like this, as upon reviewing the impact of the policy last year, there are various concerns from various stakeholders that will need to be addressed in the robust work we do to determine the best policy. However, I thought I would put something together to give you an idea of what we’re working towards.

Taught Masters (Postgraduate Taught) Finalists

Last year, students’ lowest-scoring modules were discounted so taught Masters students had an overall favourable score.

Final classifications were based on the best 90 credits, whether from taught modules or your dissertation. You still had to pass or be condoned in all modules to complete the course.

Other Postgraduates

For other postgraduate taught courses, the classification was based on the best 50% of the total credits studied.

  • Graduate Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma: classification on the best 50% (60 of the 120 credits);
  • Graduate Certificate and Postgraduate Certificate: classification on the best 50% (30 of the 60 credits).
  • Masters programmes more than 1 year of study: highest 50% of the credits counted towards classification (unless this disadvantaged you).

If you are studying part-time, the best 50% of your credits were taken into count last year (unless this disadvantages you). Like the full-time courses, you still had to pass or be condoned in all modules to pass the course.

If you are studying a flexible programme, last year, UCL used the best 50% of credits for your classification. If any of the assessment you are taking is for a module worth 15 credits or less, UCL didn’t include this if it caused a lower average result for the year. This also applied when returning from interruption to taking assessments deferred.

MRes (Postgraduate Research)

The requirement for MRes finalists to achieve a specific mark in their dissertation to qualify for a Merit or Distinction was removed last year. 

If you are studying an MRes programme that is progressing on to a doctoral programme (the ‘part of a 1+3’ arrangement), your Programme Director or Departmental Graduate Tutor will be looking at progression on a case-by-case basis if the usual qualifying threshold hasn’t been met.

Initial Teacher Education (ITE)

If you are studying an ITE course, we’re hoping for an uncapped reassessment opportunity for any failed assessment taken like last year.

As with MRes students, the need to achieve a specific mark to qualify for a Merit or Distinction was removed last year and we’re hoping the same for this year. We’ll also be looking at getting an extension for you to complete your dissertation.


We’re looking at getting any modules that were non-condonable (meaning you had to pass them to progress to the next stage or complete the course) to be condonable.

The only time this won’t happen is if there is evidence that the learning outcomes of the module are linked to professional, statutory or regulatory body requirements not met by other parts of the course.

Bear in mind, the no detriment policy did not change the grades received or the averages. It just changed the classification that would appear on your degree certificate.

This year, the work has just begun. My first meeting with the Examinations and Assessments Contingency Panel is tomorrow (13 January), which kicks off our efforts into crafting a detailed no-detriment policy. I will do my utmost to keep you in the loop about how this develops and urge UCL to do the same. In the meantime, I do hope that this message reassures you that a no-detriment policy is possible for you.

Warmest Regards,